The Buffalo Bills crashed out of the playoffs this season in a new yet all-too-familiar fashion. Bills Mafia can now add Wide Right II to the original Wide Right, the Music City Miracle, the 13-Seconds Game, and all the other heartbreaking postseason defeats. Still, heading into the 2024 offseason, Bills head coach Sean McDermott is still optimistic that a Super Bowl title will someday find its way to Western New York.

“It’s not a matter of if. It’s just a matter of when,” McDermott told The Athletic’s Tim Graham about the Bills' Super Bowl chances. “That is the relentless pursuit.”

“The only thing left to do for us at this point is win an AFC championship and win a Super Bowl, which is pretty darn good,” the now-longtime Buffalo head coach continued. “There’s not too many organizations that can say that over the last seven years. We’ve done everything else you can do, and that is what gets us out of bed in the morning.”

The Bills have made the playoffs in six of McDermott’s seven seasons at the helm and have won five postseason games during that stretch. And while the defensive-minded coach is right about being one of the most successful NFL franchises over the last three-quarters of a decade, it’s as much about how Buffalo has exited the playoffs as it is that they did.

At the end of the 2020 season, Buffalo coughed up an early 9-0 lead in the AFC Championship Game to the Kansas City Chiefs, getting stomped 38-15 in the final three quarters. The next season was even worse when the team gave up their three-point lead with just 13 seconds on the clock and then lost in overtime to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round.

In a refreshing (?) change of pace in the 2022 playoffs, it was the Bengals who outclassed the Bills 27-10 at home. However, after the 2023 campaign, the Bills once again hosted the Chiefs, and once again lost leads of 10-3, 17-13, and 24-20 before missing a tying field goal (wide right) with 1:47 to go.

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And, of course, this is in addition to the infamous four consecutive Bills’ Super Bowl losses from 1990-94.

Now, Sean McDermott and company will head into the 2024 NFL season not only having to overcome the 31 other teams but also the ghosts of Bills Mafia past that keep growing bigger every year.